Sent in by Nightjar, our trees this week tell a cautionary tale about the effects of climate change.
Mushroom Hunting Part 1...We went mushroom hunting last weekend and I decided to share some photos. I split them in two parts. The first doesn’t show mushrooms but rather our journey to find them. I knew that the wildfires last year had affected this area, but wasn’t sure if our favourite spot had burned or not. It did. I say green isn’t always hope because that green in the third photo is mostly acacias (Acacia longifolia) taking over the place. The future of these historical pine forests doesn’t look bright. We turned around and drove a bit south until we found a patch of forest that escaped the fires and didn’t look as dry and sterile. That’s when the mosquitoes attacked me, but there was also a lovely damselfly to make up for it.
Mushroom Hunting Part 2 will be posted tomorrow and it’s chock full of interesting photos of fungi found in the forest. Be sure to check it out. Thanks, Nightjar.
That spider web is just perfection… I can’t say for sure, but I’ve heard that fires help some species of fungi to fruit and in particular, morels. Maybe start checking the area in the spring, and I do hope what they say about morels is true. I sure hope the place recovers quickly, we had a very bad fire about 20 miles down the road and now, 5 years later, it’s starting to look very good there.
That second last shot is simply glorious. I think my favourite is the Odonata, though. Such a pretty face.
I also love the layering of colours in the opening shot (and others with trees, but that one combines nicely with the perspective of the road).
The spider web is perfection, just as kestrel says.
I don’t know about fires, but about 25 years ago a storm felled all trees in a spot here and about 15 years later it was a wonderful birch wood again.
I can’t choose between the spider web on moss and the damsel fly, both wonderful pictures. I hope other things manage to crowd out the acacias.
I also like the water droplets on the spider web and the insect, but I especially like the purple flowers in photo #4!
Thanks, everyone. I’m glad you all like the spider web because I have a few more of those to share… :)
springa73, the flowers are Calluna vulgaris (common heather). They are lovely.
kestrel, I checked wikipedia and it seems you are right about morels. I never saw morels there, but maybe that’s because I don’t go there in spring. I suspect the local people may have picked them last spring (the fires were in October 2017) and I heard that some people who went there after the fires (say, December 2017) found other species growing in burned areas as well.
But everything looks very dry and sterile right now despite a rainy 2018 so far. It is worth pointing out that the soil is basically sand, and without pine trees dropping needles there isn’t much organic matter on the ground, or anything that will retain water. There is no moss, no lichen. No humidity. I didn’t hear a single bird. Baby pine trees are sprouting here and there, but the acacias are growing much faster. I wish my pessimism was unfounded, but sadly it comes from several conversations with colleagues from the botanical department and what I’ve heard from fire ecologists. The area was already needing intervention because of the Acacia longifolia invasion and the pine forest was actually a human-made ecosystem from the beginning (dating from the 13th century, planted to contain the advance of sand dunes into the fertile lands of the interior). It is unlikely to regenerate itself on its own and I don’t see our politicians interested in replanting it. But time will tell.
Marvellous photos thanks.
Even locally, (Adelaide hills,South Australia) Acacia longifolia is a woody weed and our volunteer bushcare group removes them FWIW.
(See : file:///C:/Users/Stevo/Downloads/native-vegetation-acacia-longifolia-guideline-fact.pdf among other things.)
I guess the fact that invasive plants can grow here might suggest that at least some sort of forest or scrubland can return but of course won’t necessarily be the same. Pines -- mainly Aleppo and Radiata -- are feral and a woody weed locally although also grown for timber. They will come up in the bush and in past years our local group has even used feral weeded pines as Xmas trees for fundraising taking them out and putting them to good use! Given the probable seedbank and their botany I would be surprised if you didn’t see pines regrowing there.